Lonely Planet Writer

You can pay to spend a night locked up inside the most haunted prison in the UK

Forget stylish apartments, luxury resorts or modern Airbnbs. Now you can spend a night locked up in an historical prison in Somerset, said to be the most haunted in the United Kingdom.

The C to A wings at Shepton Mallet Prison.
The C to A wings at Shepton Mallet Prison. Image by The Campbell Group of Companies

Located approximately one hour from Bristol, Shepton Mallet Prison was built in 1610 as a house of correction, following an act introduced by King James I. The prison is one of the oldest in Britain, and has a long, dark history, with death sentences being performed on the site up until 1945. Famous former inmates include the notorious Kray Twins, who served a sentence in the 1950’s, and it was at the prison that they met Charlie Richardson.

The experience will see members of the public spending a night in a cell within the prison's 75-foot walls.
The experience will see members of the public spending a night in a cell within the prison’s 75-foot walls. Image by The Campbell Group of Companies

Taking place for one night only on 13 October, Porridge at HM Prison Shepton Mallet will see brave guests spending the night in a cell within the 75-foot walls of the prison and includes dinner and breakfast. In addition to this, visitors will get the opportunity to go on a tour after dark and wander the wings alone at night to experience any strange goings-on. Gates will open at 8pm, with a short briefing session taking place before visitors are shown to their lodgings. Guests are required to bring warm, comfortable clothes, rollup mats or airbeds, as well as a sleeping bag, pillow and torch.

Shepton Mallet Prison in Somerset. The prison has a long history, an former inmates included the notorious Kray twins.
The prison has a long history, and former inmates included the notorious Kray twins. Image by The Campbell Group of Companies

Despite the spooky nature of the accommodation and the fact that only the bare essentials are provided, the tour has already proven extremely popular with the general public. “This is the first overnight stay we have hosted at Shepton Prison, and there has been a lot of interest and excitement surrounding the event, with tickets having nearly sold out already, so there will be more dates released in the future,” said Emma Bassett, Marketing & Media Director for the Campbell Group that runs Jailhouse Tours.

Shepton Mallet Prison in Somerset, UK
The event has proven so popular that more nights are due to be announced. Image by The Campbell Group of Companies

Guests will rise for breakfast at 6.30am the following morning, and are released from prison by 8.30am. The tour company also runs experiences at two other historical British prisons, Shrewsbury and Gloucester.

Tickets for Shepton Mallet’s overnight stay are priced at £60 per person and can be booked at the Immersive Events website.